DeWeese-Dye Ditch and Reservoir Company

W2250 Winter Storage Program

Historically the large canals east of Pueblo consistently stored and irrigated throughout the winter season.    In spite of the difficulties involved, winter irrigation was found to be beneficial towards maintaining soil moisture for the next season’s crop.  Ultimately it was determined that the same or greater benefit could be derived by storing these same waters during the winter and having this additional water available during the summer irrigation season.  

The design of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project included Pueblo Reservoir as its principal regulating reservoir.   Pueblo Reservoir was designed to have sufficient storage space to allow for the storage of these winter waters.

Following completion of Pueblo Reservoir in the 1970’s the canal companies East of Pueblo began a winter storage program instead of the historic practice of direct winter irrigation.    Each company was allocated a certain percentage of total diversions to storage from the river.  In 1990 this “Winter Water Storage Program” was finally decreed by the Water Court.  One of the things this decree required was a fixed call date for water on the river of March 1, 1910.

Historically the call during the earlier periods of winter irrigation was typically anywhere from 1884-1906.

The Colorado Canal Company was often one of these calling water rights with a 1890 call date.

This more junior 1910 fixed call would allow upstream junior storage rights to store more water than historically occurred or was allowed.  This would include the 1901 storage right for DeWeese Reservoir.

In exchange for this greater opportunity to store water these upstream storage entities agreed to pay back to the Colorado Canal Company a total of 2,250 acre-feet of the total amount of water that these upstream entities stored each season.  

This 2,250 acre-foot repayment amount is divided proportionally between the upstream entities relative to the amount of water each entity stored that winter.  This 2,250 acre-foot repayment is typically released or traded to the Colorado Canal Company following the winter storage season in March or April by each upstream entity.